Mormon Olympian Lindsey Anderson
Throughout high school, Lindsey Anderson suffered from a powerful fear of failure. She was a good, but not outstanding athlete, and only two colleges, both in her native Utah, offered her scholarships.
Since that time, she’s come a long way, overcoming her fears and turning herself into a world-class athlete through fierce determination. In junior high school, her only running goal was to beat the boys in the gym class runs, but today, her goal is to beat everyone in the Beijing Olympics. She finished second in the Olympic trials, putting her in good position to achieve her dream.
Born May 23, 1985, in Payson Utah, Anderson is usually the smallest competitor in the race, being only five foot four inches tall. Since she is a jumper, this makes her achievements even more remarkable. She holds school records at Weber State in four events. She’s been NCAA All-American twice. Her second place win at the Olympic trials for 2008 gave her a personal best score by nine seconds. ESPN Magazine named her CoSIDA Track and Field/Cross-Country Academic All-America second team in 2007. She credits her coach, former English teacher Paul Pilkington, for giving her confidence and helping her achieve her new level of success.
Anderson is the oldest of five children, although not by much, since she has an identical twin. Her twin, a returned missionary, ran in high school, but now only runs recreationally.
It was in 2007 that Anderson found her stride in steeplechase, a sport she knew nothing about prior to being introduced to it by her coaches. She set an NCAA record and placed in two important competitions, the NCAA championships, and the USA Nationals. This led to a contract with Nike.
Lindsey Anderson is married to Mark Anderson. She has a degree in mathematics teaching from Weber State, which her husband, also a runner, also attended.
This is steeplechase’s Olympic debut, an extra enticement to Anderson, who relishes the idea of participating in a brand new Olympic event.
Update: Anderson ran in the fastest heat, completing the first Women’s 3000m Steeplechase in 9:36.81. It was her second fastest ever, but finished seven seconds behind the final qualifier, so she failed to qualify for the finals.